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What is the online "cash-out curse"? Is the curse evidence that the sites are rigged?

Author: Bob Dainauski
Last updated: Oct 2003
Copyright © 2004 Bob Dainauski
The official and up-to-date version of this answer is here.

NEW A number of people have reported the same bad experience with online poker: They win for a while, but once they cash out some winnings they seem to run bad and bust. To some people, this is solid evidence that online poker must be rigged; that by cashing out some winnings, players incur the wrath of the online operators, who will set a switch on the player's account, dooming them to lose thereafter.

Is the "rigged theory" the best explanation for the trends that people are observing?

Read the rest of this article (290 lines). [Editor's warning: this article contains logical arguments.]

NEW See the Conspiracy Theory section of the Beginners' Guide to Online Poker.